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This week at work I was asked how to create a calendar shortcut icon within an outlook message. The lady in question wanted to send an email to a group of users explaining there was a seminar happening and to wanted users to be able to double click the icon to add the appointment to their calendar.

The solution to her problem is to create the appointment in Outlook (the only calendaring application we have available) and save it as an iCalendar file which can then be sent as an email attachment to her colleagues. This blog post provides step by step instructions for the whole process.

Step 1 – Create an appointment in Outlook. Enter the subject, location, date, time and any other appropriate information in the body of the appointment.

Create an appointment in Outlook

Step 2 – Save the appointment. In Outlook 2007, click the Office button and select Save As. In Outlook 2010, Click the File tab and select Save As.

Save the appointment

Step 3 – Select a location to store the file (such as your Desktop) and enter a filename (or accept the default name which is taken from the Subject of the appointment). Leave the Save as Type set to iCalendar Format

Save the appointment

Step 4 – Close the appointment. if you want to add it to your own calendar, click Yes to saving, otherwise click No

Step 5 – Add the file created in step 3 to an email as an attachment and send the email. You can now delete the file from your Desktop

The recipients should either save the attachment to an appropriate location (such as their Desktop) and open it by double-clicking it or double-click it from inside the email. In either case the appointment will be opened.

To add the appointment to their Outlook calendar, the user simply clicks the Save and Close button on the Outlook Ribbon.

Save the appointment

The appointment is added to their calendar.